The flash functions as a secondary source of light. When you are shooting with any particular metering mode, some part of the frame is more focused, and some remain underexposed. Flash fills these less exposed portions. But using flash where it's not required, can ruin your photo.
To be an expert photographer, you must know when to use flash and when not to. If you don't have any clear idea it, this blog is for you.
Here is the guide for you on when to use a flash and when not to:-
If you are shooting indoors, and the lights are very low, the images will be blurred because of motion blur or camera shake. So, in this case, you should use a flash. If the ceiling is white, you can opt for bouncing light off the ceiling, and mount the flash on your camera. If the ceiling is too high, white walls around you can serve the purpose. But don't do it if the ceiling or walls are colored because the light will assume that color and your photo will have the same color cast on it.
While most photographers like to take photos in natural light outdoors, there are some scenarios when you require a flashlight. For example, when you are shooting your subject backlit, you need to either use a reflector or a flash to get a well-exposed front image. If it's a sunny day, the direct sunlight will act as the hard light source, and cast shadows in your photos. You need to use a softbox or umbrella and use flash properly to avoid getting shadows.
Here are the cases where you shouldn't use a flash:-
In Big Events:-
Don't use your flash when you are at a distance of more than 15 feet from your subject. At big events, we often see audience cameras flashing out. They try to capture the stage moments far away from them in low light. But that doesn't make sense because the flash would never cover such a long distance. Also, using the flash from an unflattering angle of light will create unusual shadows on your photos.
While clicking candid photos:-
If you are to click candid photos, you should never use a flash ever. It will grab the attention of people and ruin the idea of having unposed photographs. If you need to take candid photos when the light is low, change the camera settings to get a wider aperture, which will give your photo a shallow depth, focusing on the subject only, and not the surroundings. You can also raise the ISO but keep in mind that too much higher ISO can produce grainy or noisy images. Around 400 ISO values will be fine.
Outdoors when the sunlight is perfect:-
When you are shooting outdoors in the daytime, you generally don't require a flashlight unless it's too cloudy. If possible, place your subject or model where sunlight comes from aside. You can use a polarizing filter to manage reflections. It's a common misconception that you 'must' use a flash when you are shooting at night time. You can click pretty well-exposed photos without using flash. Change the camera settings to manual mode from auto, click your shots with wider aperture and slower shutter speed, and see the magic!
Irrespective of whatever field of photography you're working in, flash photography is the skill that you must know, to click good shots in every situation. Now you know when you should choose to use flash. The more you practice these tips, and use the trial and error method to form your conceptions, the better you will get in managing flash.
-Written by Sanga Basu, Content Writer, WPC